New Colnbrook surgery could yet be on the cards says Health Centre
The closure of the last branch surgery in Colnbrook will no doubt be seen as a blow to the village, but hope remains for a new surgery and Langley Health Centre has committed to measures to improve the access for Colnbrook residents.
All is not lost and there is hope that a new Colnbrook surgery could open – but it won’t be any time soon.
The Joint Commissioning Group says it recognises the local importance of a Colnbrook branch surgey. However, “reasonable alternatives” have been explored and rejected as either not affordable or not viable (including the old Post Office and various unused commercial sites in the village).
Nevertheless, further investigation of options will continue.
The health centre said that its consultation revealed support among residents for an extension to the Village Hall, even a portacabin, to accommodate a temporary surgery – with suggestion that this would offer better car parking and accessibility than the current surgery.
Following its two consultations with residents in September, the practice said it would be approaching Slough Borough Council with a view to submitting a pre-planning application to explore the option further.
A ‘new build’ is believed to be the most likely option but any realistic project is likely to be at least 2 years away and be subject to an approved business case; identification of affordable land and build costs.
In the mean time …
Langley Health Centre says that it intends to implement a number of measures at the Common Road practice to help Colnbrook residents.
- No loss of specific ‘Colnbrook sessional time’ (4 sessions per week). These appointments will be ring-fenced and will be in addition to access to the general LHC appointment system, including Saturday morning;
- Colnbrook appointments will be scheduled to avoid local traffic issues;
- A percentage of Colnbrook appointment access will be made available through online booking, both ‘on the day’ and advance appointments;
- A monthly nurse-led chronic disease clinic will be run on a Saturday for the management of chronic illness;
- LHC will consider travel/traffic issues in regard to arrival times for appointments;
- Improved communication in regard to the practice appointment system and car parking arrangements;
- Slough Borough community transport facility operates within the Borough of Slough, providing services door to door at rates that are competitive to public transport, for those that find it difficult to use public transport more information can be found: http://www.sloughcommunitytransport.com/
The seven measures were identified as common themese following its consultation with residents on the impact of the closure of the surgery held last Summer.
- The Health Centre has requested that Slough Borough Council explore transport links between Colnbrook and Langley and how they can be improved irrespective of the future of the surgery. Possible solutions may involve reviewing current bus routes or a voluntary community transport scheme.
- 9 additional car parking spaces are being provided for at the Common Road practice to ease parking difficulties.
- The health centre has also expressed its support for the Colnbrook Pharmacy to ensure it remains viable. The practice will continue its current repeat ordering system with the pharmacy. Patients will also have access to the pharmacy for self-care, general health advice and other services.
The following papers were considered by the Joint Commissioning Committee in confirming the decision to close the Colnbrook branch surgery earlier today: